View Full Version : The Still Evening

06 June 2004, 11:58 AM

Oil Painting. What does it tell to you? I want to express solitude.

06 June 2004, 10:28 PM
Frome the picture,I see one thing,that's hope.I don't feel alone.

06 June 2004, 10:32 PM
Very early surrealism... DeChirico type... which if you want to express solitude i think, is a good thing... nice job!

06 June 2004, 08:39 PM
No, I don't get that feeling. For one, the image portrays coming from out of the darkness (the alley) and into the light. For solitude, you must have a feeling of total aloneness and singularity. In this image, the bright outside area portrays hope, safety, glory. The shadow is of a light post. Light, in paintings usually represents heaven, safety, comfort, security, victory ("a light at the end of the tunnel"). In all reality, I think you've achieved the exact opposite here. But it's still a nice painting nonetheless.

06 June 2004, 09:52 PM
i agree with dave, and warm colors are not the best ones to transmit solitude, the hatd yellow and red actually transmits some sort of agression specially with the dripping wall,

06 June 2004, 07:55 PM
And what about this?, in this case it's computer generated (Maya, MR)

The Isolated Tower.

I think really The Still Evening is not evocating solitude exactly, but I fell alone in this street, with the red sky closing the horizon and the mysterious lamppost.

06 June 2004, 06:29 AM
I think really The Still Evening is not evocating solitude exactly, but I fell alone in this street, with the red sky closing the horizon and the mysterious lamppost.

Well, for one thing, the sky isn't closing the horizon because there is no horizon. And lamposts, in general, really aren't that mysterious. The only mystery would be what is casting such a bright light to make the lamppost's shadow? :p

As for the new image. Again, you missed your mark. The image is way too bright, for one. Solitude should express exactly that... solitude.

1. The state or quality of being alone or remote from others.
2. A lonely or secluded place.

The pillar doesn't look 'alone' because you're way too close to it and it's too brightly lit. Solitude should convey more darkness, less light. A farther distance to the subject with more space surrounding it. As you have it now you're right up there with it. So in reality, it's not in solitude. It needs to be observed from a distance rather than up close. More open space around it, less light.

Also, the wire's reveal that it's not alone. It's connected to something. Somewhere off the image is another pillar and they are related because of the connecting wires. Solitude is a scarecrow in a vast, forgotten, dead cornfield. It's a lone bouy out at sea ringing its bell for no one to hear. It's a single tree growing in a most peculiar place like the middle of the desert or high on top of a mountain.

I hope those will help you visualize your goal. :)

06 June 2004, 05:54 PM
Both pictures look nice but neither captures the idea of solitude. Borrowing from what made in uterus and dave_baer have said, you'll probably want to use cool colors and a landscape view. Show lots of empty space, especially in a courtyard or train station usually crowded with people but is now empty. In your first pic, the colors are warm and festive and there could be people just around the corner. In the second I feel cold but don't know what's around me.

Are you determined to make this a 1st person view or would you consider including the subject? If you put the subject in the picture you have the added option of body language and proximity. A person can find solitude or feel lonely even in a crowded space, especially if nobody is turned toward him and it can be depicted by hunched shoulders and a guarded position. Also, since solitude can be either a good or a bad thing, decide if the person is enjoying his time alone (reading a book?) or hates it (homeless person muttering to himself).

06 June 2004, 06:41 PM
I agree with the other posters. The typical ingredients are there to express solitude: stark, vacant nighttime, settings. A singular element unaccompanied. But it's the overtones that are missing and that might be in part our fault. I mean "solitude" may not necessarily be a negative, meloncholy thing, but as social beings that is our usual knee-jerk take on it. We tend to see it as a signifier for the ultimate isolation of embodied consciousness. Your works have a kind of cheeriness or implied optimism in the handling and lighting. There is a basic interest in life exhibited in your works which needs to be squared with the feelings of personal solitude. From somewhere I remember a commentor talking about the basic tragedy of men who like to live alone in the wilderness. Well is it a tragedy? Maybe, maybe not. You need to engage questions on that level in order to get at this theme.

ie, winner of "Loneliness" topic at IRTC
"Insomnia" by Gena Obukhov

06 June 2004, 07:11 PM
Great link ! perhaps you will perceive this work more accurate to express solitude, it's name is "THE ORPHAN", it's Oil Painting, I think it really express it, if not, I'm totally wrong :-)

Sorry for the number of images, but we are talking about a feeling, not about a concrete work or technique.

06 June 2004, 12:03 PM
I think the last one expresses solitude much better than the other ones :)

Maybe you can enhance the feeling by making the buildings/square really huge, just an idea :)

06 June 2004, 05:34 AM
"The orphan" definitely does the job. I'm not sure if the boy is playing ball at night because he likes being alone or because he is totally alone and it doesn't matter when he plays. Color is blue, building is large and featureless and no lights are on. Child looks out of place, but he's not self conscious about it. Not really sad, but I want to get inside his head, but he seems like he'd want me to stay out. If you wanted lonely in addition to solitude, have him stop playing and stand alone with his ball. Just random thoughts. Nice job.

06 June 2004, 05:43 AM
Yeah, the latest mght be closest to "solitude"

These images are all classic signifiers of solitude. The solitary lamppost shown indirectly, the solitary tower obdurant to our need, the solitary game of ball. But I wonder if with you it might be more about "exclusion" I keep trying to reconcile the brightness of the ambient light. It constantly strikes me as a positive, cheery vision. But maybe the intention is intense, glaring, angry,... excluded?

06 June 2004, 01:21 PM
first one is the best, with what seems to be small influences from Gustav Klimt.

Interesting colors

06 June 2004, 01:42 AM
i agree, the last one with the boy is on the money.
i really like your choice of colors. looking at these images makes me wanna cry.

06 June 2004, 12:43 PM

Am I the only one to notice the strong phallic symbols in the 1st and second images (lamp shadow, single jutting tower) ?

They seem to evoke the thought of sexual frustration more than lonliness.

"THE ORPHAN" shows solitude because is shows a small anonymous person almost lost in a vast expanse of emptiness (notice how the figure breaks the rule of thirds so it's not immediatly seen until you search for it).

The key elements for depicting solitude that the first two lack seem to me to be:

1) A human element is needed
2) The human element must look to be isolated from the rest of the image.
3) The colors must be desaturated or washed out, lonliness is bleak not rich in color.

06 June 2004, 09:17 PM
Sexual frustration and phallic symbols? I think not. It's a very simple vision I think.

06 June 2004, 06:56 PM
Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

07 July 2004, 04:55 AM
The isolated tower reminds me of the monotonous, lonely experience that is the internet. Though you're connecting to a hive of others, you're still the only human.

07 July 2004, 06:27 PM
Very interesting point fo view, I have never thought it so.

07 July 2004, 09:12 PM
Solitude is a personal emotion. I vividly remember a comment made by musician Jeff Golub in Naked City that there is nothing like being in a city (New York) with X-million people looking down on you and feeling totally alone.

To me, any graphic representation of "solitude" needs to have the camera positioned very close to the subject. It doesn't need to strive for "photorealism." In fact it probably shouldn't.

08 August 2004, 01:28 PM

they said "no fanboy posting", so i'm gonna pretend i'm giving a real crit here ;)
(but i'm absolutely in love with your artwork)

i like the idea you're expressing solitude over several different works. As a subject which can be taken in different lights, I think If these were my works (oh of these were my works!!) I would keep them thematically similar...
IE the last one (the orphan) has a boy experiencing solitude in one possible way... the first might have an anatomically similar stylised girl's shadow cast on the wall.. and the tower, perhaps someone sitting reflecting - and perhaps a little melancholic from atop (but styled the same.. a series)

they are fantastic as they are, but if you have your heart set on conveying the strict notion of "solitude" i might look into including the subject in such a way...


08 August 2004, 05:26 PM
Hello paraplex, thanks for your words.

The ones that include a figure or a shadow are for me rare exceptions, because the goal I want to reach is that YOU (the one that is looking the canvas) is the one wich is in the scene, and you in that place surely feel solitude, itīs the meaning of the figure lack, the figure, the shadow in the wall, all what you want... is not neccesary if you can feel inside the picture.

09 September 2004, 02:13 PM
I like all your pictures, and I read a lot of interresting opinions about those, For me the first is the best to express solitude, despite of the strange perspective of the image. I tell you why: when I looked at it I had 2 impressions: 1. it is sunset, the lightpost (a person) is alone, and soon it will be in total darkness, and maybe theres noone to turn him on (to bring him home). Second feeling, is that the sun going down, and slightly coming closer to us, so the shadow of the wall going to catch the lamp. So the image for me is expressing that the darkness is coming. This is why I like more than the others.

09 September 2004, 08:55 AM
I see solitude in the first image thus:
The object experiencing solitude (to me at least) is the lamp post.
The lamp post is itself a light emiting object, and it's being singled out in this painting, the shadow of a single lamp post being cast by the bright light of what appears to be the setting sun (colour of the wall on the left and the long, shallow shadows imply this).
The sunlight is of a similar nature to the lamp in that they both emit light, but yet it's not, because the lamp provides light, when the sun is down. Even so, after the sun sets, this lamp post will be alone, casting it's light in to an open space (There are no other shadows near this lamp post, so one must assume that it is alone, in a vast open space, for the setting sun to be casting such a shadow on the wall to the left)
The colour of the shadow itself in contrast to the colour of the sun hitting the wall, sets it apart from the middle ground of the painting, but ties it with the foreground. The foreground of the painting ties the alley and the lampost together. The shadows in the ally, are where this lampost should be.
This lampost is alone, in solitude. Maybe it won't be alone when the sun sets, and it can spead it's light and joy across the courtyard, and into the alley, where it can reach in and play it's light against the brick walls in the alley, as the sun does at the present time in this painting.


Very great painting, conveys solitude to me.

10 October 2004, 03:30 PM
The first one, the one with the lamp, feels like someone's running from the alley and finally sees light, a lamp post's shadow, a sign of civilzation, a sign of hope and aid.

The second one... doesn't really stirr up anything to me except the relaxing noise of powerlines in the night (that's my own thing... not saying you're relaxed by the powerline's noise :) )

the third one is, to me, a chase as the human figure is chasing a floating ball (a goal in his life?).

10 October 2004, 01:04 PM
my thoughts regarding the tower

what about if there was light coming up from the street implying warm noisy human activity in the street below with the tower standing high above it all with just the moon for comfort

and maybe some birdshit/water stains would help it look more old and abandoned


10 October 2004, 01:57 PM
I'd have to agree with Keroberus about the first oil. It gives you the distinct feeling of motion... the road does that for you... as you've mentioned its "The still evening" the road looks as if you were sitting in a moving vehicle... the theme is good, the colors are good ... but u need to dim the lights just a little and perhaps elongate the shadow of the lampost a little more and you need to stop the road rushing away from the person looking at the painting.

About the orphan... he seems to be enjoying himself ... solitude is generally an emotion which is not very enjoyable it is one of the serious emotions...perhaps if the boy was just strolling with his hands in his pockets and just idly kicking the ball...

11 November 2004, 01:02 PM
I noticed in your first painting that it had a very similar feel to some of the paintings done by artist Jeffrey Smart, his paintings create a feeling that something is *about* to happen, and this is the moment just before the action begins. This is exactly how your first artwork came across to me, something seems to be just around that corner, and the sky is pressing in, waiting for the drama to unfold. It's a great evocative image, though, as others have pointed out, not necessarily expressing the idea of solitude.
Your latest image is certainly more in the dirction you want. Some people have pointed out that the boy seems happy to be on his own, and others have mentioned that solitude should be more sombre and sad. It really depends on what interpretation of solitude you want to convey. Being alone is only depressing if you dont want to be, the word solitude simply expressed the that idea of being alone. To me solitude seems like a word you'd use to describe the calm, welcomed feeling of being allowed time to yourself far away from distractions. I think from the images you've created however, you want to show the idea that the subject has unwillingly been placed in a stark and empty place and wants other human company.
In respect to composition, doing a closeup of a character and showing a vast and empty background will help your viewer identify with the feelings of the character. Putting a tiny character in the middle of that empty scene focuses on the situation and distances the personal feelings of the character. Just an idea to help define what the focal point of the picture should be.

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